• CybersecurityCybersecurity of Connected Autonomous Vehicles

    In the near future connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are expected to become widely used across the world. Researchers have been working to improve the security, privacy and safety of CAVs by testing four innovations in the IoT-enabled Transport and Mobility Demonstrator. They were able to connect CAVs to other CAVs and roadside infrastructure more securely and privately.CAVs can now connect to each other, roadside infrastructure, and roadside infrastructure to each other more securely.

  • Flying carsFlying colors: Assessing the role of flying cars in sustainable mobility

    A new study of the environmental sustainability impacts of flying cars, formally known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or VTOLs, finds that they wouldn’t be suitable for a short commute. However, VTOLs—which combine the convenience of vertical takeoff and landing like a helicopter with the efficient aerodynamic flight of an airplane—could play a niche role in sustainable mobility for longer trips.

  • InfrastructureUnder-road heating system to keep Europe’s highways ice-free

    By Rex Merrifield

    Snow and ice can dramatically change the conditions of a road, where slippery surfaces make it harder to keep control of a vehicle, particularly when braking or turning. Under-road heating that melts ice and snow within 15 minutes and real-time information about icy road conditions could help prevent wintertime accidents.

  • DronesDrones to make traffic crash site assessments safer, faster, more accurate

    In 2016, there were more than 7 million police-reported traffic crashes in which 37,461 people were killed and an estimated 3,144,000 were injured. Idling in a long highway line of slowed or stopped traffic on a busy highway can be more than an inconvenience for drivers and highway safety officers. It is one of the most vulnerable times for “secondary accidents,” which often can be worse than an original source of the slowdown.

  • Vehicular cyberthreatsMitigating cyberthreats in vehicles

    In acts of terrorism, vehicles have been deployed as killing machines. These incidents involved human operators, but another sinister possibility looms: a vehicle cyber hack intended to cause human harm. While this kind of terrorist attack has not yet occurred, in the realm of security research, it’s been demonstrated how hackers could gain control over car systems like the brakes, steering and engine.

  • CybersecurityConnected cars vulnerable to cyberthreats

    Connected cars could be as vulnerable to cyberattack as the smartphone in your hand or the personal computer on your desktop, according to a new study from the U.K.“Connected cars are no different from other nodes on the internet of things and face many of the same generic cybersecurity threats,” the team reports.

  • Transportation securityPublic transit agencies should not have to disclose safety planning records in court: Experts

    To enable public transit agencies to engage in more rigorous and effective safety planning, their safety planning records should not be admissible as evidence in civil litigation, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences. State highway agencies and commuter railroads have been granted such “evidentiary protections,” and the report found no compelling reason to advise Congress against current practice by treating transit agencies differently.

  • BioterrorismRestoring subways in the event of a bioterrorist attack

    Only a week after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, envelopes containing anthrax spores were sent to several media companies and two senators. As a result, twenty-two people were infected and five died. Since these incidents, the U.S. has increased its efforts on measures countering bioterrorism. That incident stemmed from spores sent to individuals and offices where the reach was somewhat contained. Imagine if the spores had been taken onto a mass transit platform — like the subway. A subway incident can bring a whole city to a halt, and the effects can last much longer in the form of lingering fear and mistrust.

  • Rail safetyStartup offering a solution to deter dangerous railway hacking

    Rail transport is undergoing a huge transformation thanks to automated, wireless and connected technologies that whoosh passengers down the tracks faster and more efficiently than ever before possible. However, these same technologies have opened a door to new types of cyber-attacks that can threaten passenger safety, disrupt service and cause serious economic damage. A new startup has raised $4.7 million in seed money to develop its proactive solution to protect railways and metros.

  • Distant scanningDistant-scanning crowds for potential threats

    Everyone wants to be safe and secure, but can you imagine if you had to go through a security screening at the metro station like there is at the airport? What if there were a way to safely scan crowds for potential threat items in places like metro and train stations without security officials coming into direct contact with the public and while maintaining individual privacy?

  • CybersecurityThreat identification tool addresses cybersecurity in self-driving cars

    Instead of taking you home from work, your self-driving car delivers you to a desolate road, where it pulls off on the shoulder and stops. You call your vehicle to pick you up from a store and instead you get a text message: Send $100 worth of Bitcoin to this account and it’ll be right over. You buckle your seatbelt and set your destination to a doctor’s appointment, but your car won’t leave your driveway because it senses it’s been hacked. These three hypothetical scenarios illustrate the breadth of the cybersecurity challenges that must be overcome before autonomous and connected vehicles can be widely adopted. While every new generation of auto tech brings new security risks, the vulnerabilities that come along with advanced mobility are both unprecedented and under-studied, the paper states.

  • Transportation securityAI used to limit collision-prone roadways

    Could a traffic agency identify a potentially dangerous road intersection without first witnessing a collision? Researchers are attempting to answer that question as they near completion on a two-year proof-of-concept study to develop an image-based system for monitoring and assessing the safety of intersections.

  • Explosives detectionHomemade Explosive Characterization Program helps keep Americans safe

    Each day almost two million Americans travel on commercial aviation domestically and internationally, and in addition tens of millions use America’s mass transit systems. In recent months, several significant plots to take down commercial aircraft and attack public spaces have been thwarted due to the mitigation efforts of law enforcement and government counter terrorism agencies across the globe. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) says it is at the forefront of the response to, and mitigation against, such plots against the homeland.

  • DetectionChemical detection sensors at the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub

    In New York, a new magnificent architectural wonder in white, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, also known as the Oculus, attracts tens of thousands of commuters and visitors every day. The Hub connects two subway systems and provides access to multiple buildings that make up the World Trade Center. However, even the most beautiful and useful places are not immune to danger from terrorist chemical attacks. DHS S&T entered into an agreement this spring with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to begin the design, establishment, operation, and maintenance of a chemical detection testbed for identifying hazardous gases.

  • Rail safetyConcerns about safety of rail transport of energy liquids, gases

    The U.S. increased production of crude oil, natural gas, and corn-based ethanol created unforeseen demands and safety challenges on their long-distance transportation via pipelines, tank barges, and railroad tank cars. A debate is underway about whether the domestic energy revolution was placing stress on the transportation system that would sacrifice safety.